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Meet the Colin Powell School's Newest Faculty Members

Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

Meet the Colin Powell School's Newest Faculty Members

Adriana EspinosaAdriana Espinosa, the City College of New York’s valedictorian for 2002, has been named an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. 
 
Espinosa, who has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, will hold a joint appointment as deputy director of the Colin Powell School’s graduate program in Public Service Management.

Espinoza’s interest areas include immigration, public opinion, ethnic identity, psychology and economics, mental health-care choices, and educational psychology. 

 
Espinoza specializes in applying social science research methods to questions within her interest areas, and draws on her previous experience as a market research analyst for Syncsort, Inc., a big data software provider, and as a statistical consultant for CCNY’s Division of Science.
Norma Fuentes-MayorgaNorma Fuentes-Mayorga, a sociologist with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, joins the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership this fall as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology.  
 
Fuentes-Mayorga, whose work has been internationally recognized, has research interests in the areas of international migration, gender, race and class, Latino studies, education, urban issues, and mental health. She comes to the Colin Powell School from the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University, where she was a visiting scholar. Her work there, supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation, focused on immigrant women’s integration and social and educational mobility. Previously, Fuentes-Mayorga served as an assistant professor at Fordham University and headed a research unit on Migration, Gender and Development. In conjunction with Fordham’s Center for International Policy Studies, she also collaborated on several policy-oriented studies, including the “Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Welfare and Immigration Reform Study in New York City and Los Angeles.”  

 

Calvert JonesCalvert Jones, a rising Middle East specialist from Yale University, joins the Colin Powell School as an assistant professor and the newest member of its political science department. 
 
Jones brings to the department subfield specialties in the Middle East politics, comparative politics, international relations, and quantitative methodology, and her research interests include international security, political socialization and culture, Arab education reform, and networked collaboration. She is known for tackling difficult research topics, including assessing the relative danger of illicit networks such as Al-Qaida, and, recently, examining the unanticipated consequences of state’s leaders attempts to shape their citizens through social engineering. In 2013, her work received a “Best Field Work” recognition from the American Political Science Association, and she has been cited in publications such as The New Yorker and Science.
 
Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Columbia University, a master’s degree in information management from University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge, where she studied as a Gates Scholar. 

jeff_kucikJeffrey R. Kucik, a specialist in international studies, has joined the Colin Powell School's political science department as an assistant professor. Kucik will lead the school’s graduate International Relations program, a position formerly held by acting director Jean Krasno.

 

Kucik’s areas of specialization include the politics of global economic governance, global trade and investment, the market causes and effects of conflict, and international institutional design.

 

Kucik previously served as a research fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University and as an assistant professor at the University College in London, where he was also director of the college’s International Public Policy Center. He received his Ph.D. from Emory University in International Political Economy.

 

Kucik’s current research examines the legal architecture of the World Trade Organization.

 

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Teresa Lopez-CastroTeresa Lopez-Castro, a clinical psychologist who specializes in substance misuse and traumatic stress, acculturation stress, and mood and anxiety disorders joins the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership this fall as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. 

 
Lopez-Castro received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center. She also served as supervising clinical psychologist and research scientist with the Trauma and Addiction Project (TAP) at CCNY, a major federally funded effort to increase diversity among Ph.D. researchers focused on trauma and addiction research. Lopez-Castro is also a member of the clinical team at the Center for Optimal Living, an evaluation and treatment center that anchors its treatment in Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy. 
 
Lopez-Castro centers her research at the intersection of traumatic stress and substance use, and her work in this area complements the work of other department faculty in this subject area. Lopez-Castro has presented nationally and internationally on trauma and addiction and integrative behavioral interventions. 
 

 

 
Nicholas SmithNicholas R. Smith, an award-winning doctoral candidate from the University of Chicago, has joined the Department of Political Science of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.  
 
A specialist in African politics, Smith focuses on the politics of crime, policing, and vigilantism in African democratic states. His forthcoming book, Resisting Rights: Vigilantism and the Contradictions of Democratic State Formation in Post-Apartheid South Africa, explores the increase of vigilantism and transformations in the state following the demise of apartheid. It is based on 18 months of ethnographic and archival research. 
 
Additional research projects Smith is pursuing include an examination of prisoners’ experiences of the operation of political power behind bars, drawn from prison memoirs. Another project focuses on postcolonial party durability. Specifically, Smith is using historical data to explore the likelihood that any given political group that emerges from revolutionary struggle in Southeast Asia or Africa evolved into the country’s most durable political party.  
 
Smith recently received the Hayward Alker Best Student Paper Award of the American Political Science Association's Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference for another paper, “Rejecting Rights and Violence in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” now in progress for African Affairs. He also has received fellowships from The Social Science Research Council and Fulbright Hays. 

 

Sarah O'NeillSarah O’Neill, a clinical psychologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Otago in New Zealand, has been named assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership. 

O’Neill’s research focuses on the neuropsychology and neurophysiology of Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. O’Neill comes to the Colin Powell School from Queens College, where she pursued a post-doctoral fellowship under the mentorship of Distinguished Professor Jeffrey Halperin, known for his longitudinal research on childhood disorders. There she worked on cutting-edge federally funded studies, one of which assessed non-pharmacological treatments for young children with ADHD; the other examined links in the relationship between the severity of an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and neuropsychological development over time.

 
Last year, an O’Neill-led study, “Reliable Ratings or Reading Tea Leaves: Can Parent, Teacher, and Clinician Behavioral Ratings of Preschoolers Predict ADHD at Age Six?” received wide coverage in the media. Published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, O’Neill’s findings determined that multiple sources of information about preschoolers’ behavior are key to an accurate ADHD diagnosis.
 
 
 
Stan ThangarajStanley Thangaraj, a socio-cultural anthropologist who joined the faculty of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership has launched a series of new courses in the Department of Anthropology. Focused on sports and its impact on social groups, they include, “American Sports and Masculinity,” “Anthropology of Sport, and “Sports, Race, and Gender.” 
 

Thangaraj, an assistant professor, comes to the Colin Powell School with a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His areas of research interest include race, gender, sexuality, class, and ethnicity in Asian Americans. He is author of the forthcoming book, Brown Out, Man Up! Basketball, Leisure, and Making Desi Masculinity, which is in contract with New York University Press. 

 
His current research considers the way Kurdish women in the Middle East develop their identities, despite the influence of U.S racialization. The second project, “Museums, Racialization, and Memorial Silence,” focuses on the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, and examines the relationship between civil rights history, gentrification, and the social movement of black nationalists. 
 
Thangaraj serves on the board of directors for Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) which assists refugee communities in Nashville, and is a member of Building Understanding (BUDS), an organization that reaches out to youths through social justice paradigms.